Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trio of bosses cleared of manslaughter

Three bosses charged with killing a labourer walked free from Cardiff Crown Court today after the prosecution dramatically called a halt to their trial.

The judge in the case Mr Justice Pitchford called for the method of working on mains pipes which carry millions of litres of water to be investigated.

The three men had been accused of the manslaughter through gross negligence of 25-year-old labourer Craig Rees when a water main burst open at a pumping station in Usk in May 2006.

Walesonline reported that Craig, a father-of-one from Williamstown, Rhondda, died instantly when joints on a new meter installation suddenly gave way as he tried to stop what until that moment had been small leaks in a chamber below ground level.


Trio of bosses cleared of manslaughter


Jeffrey Reed, 35, of Sannan Street, Aberbargoed, the site agent for the company employing him, Lewis Construction of Pontyclun together with Colin Hughes, 47, of Hereford and Gary Sanford, 42, from Ty Canol, Cwmbran - both production managers with United Utilities which operated the site for Welsh Water - were later charged with unlawfully causing his death.

All three denied a charge of manslaughter in a trial which began on February 24 and is thought to have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Craig's distraught family left the courtroom this morning hurridly and in tears as Winston Roddick QC announced that the prosecution, having heard the quality of the evidence as it emerged from witnesses, did not think a conviction should follow.

The jury was directed by the judge to return not guilty verdicts against the three.

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